In Review:

February 24, 2010 at 4:59 pm 18 comments

I follow 544 people on twitter that do not follow me back.

No, I didn’t go through over 1,000 Twitter users I was following to figure this out. I used, a site that tells you who out of those you are following, are not following you back.

I used for the first time today after Brian Cousins @reply to me.Β Being a novice tech-geek and twitter-fiend, I immediately went to the site to see how many people I followed weren’t following me back. Did I care? Not really, but there was a part of me that needed to know.

As I skimmed across the profile pictures, I became deeply distressed. There were people who weren’t following me who I had tweeted with and a few I had even met in real life! Even though it sounds silly, I considered unfollowing all 544 unfollowers. I even whined via tweets about how I was discouraged by my unfollowers, and began to populate the #onetweetstand hashtag I had created earlier in the week.

Then it hit me: this isn’t a popularity contest. Will I cry myself to sleep if these 544 unfollowers never follow me back on twitter? Most likely, no. Then why the hell do I care? Bottom line: I don’t.

The people that follow me have their reasons, as do those who decide not to follow me. As long as I continue to share in the mutually beneficial relationships derived from my twitter community, I really don’t give a flip about those who decide not to partake (unless your name is Chris Brogan *wink*).

I promptly exited out of and do not plan on returning anytime soon.


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18 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rachel Esterline  |  February 24, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    And even if they don’t follow you, you have obviously interacted with these people already. And you never know if maybe it is a Twitter glitch or they just missed following you back.

    And, of course, follower numbers matter less than the fact that you’re very active on Twitter and interact with many people.

  • 2. Sarah Tiambeng  |  February 24, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Great post! I completely understand your feelings. As a student, I get caught up in numbers sometimes and then I realize that it doesn’t matter who follows me if I never interact with them.

    You’ve done an awesome job connecting with people and given a lot (esp to me!) so kudos!

  • 3. lmnovo  |  February 24, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    I had never heard of this site but you definitely peaked my curiosity and I had to go visit it! I was actually more shocked by people I wasn’t following back than by people who weren’t following me. It’s difficult to keep up with new followers on when I’m always on Tweetdeck!

    Great post and fantastic points! Twitter is not a popularity contest and relationships shouldn’t be forced. Oh, and I hope Chris Brogan returns your follow πŸ™‚

    • 4. mikinzie  |  February 24, 2010 at 9:46 pm

      For the record, Chris Brogan did return my follow. πŸ™‚

  • 5. Kion  |  February 24, 2010 at 8:58 pm


    Great post! I couldn’t agree more. Sadly, there are some tweeps who would find this to be disrespectful. Personally, I think it’s a little rude if we’re in constant communication on Twitter and I don’t get a follow back. Luckily, I don’t put a lot of thought into it so I can’t think of a scenario … Lol

    I’m not the best at returning follows but I’m working on it!

  • 6. jackieb3  |  February 24, 2010 at 10:14 pm


    Well said! Twitter is not a numbers game! I tend to over follow people. When I first got twitter, forever ago, i followed ANYONE that wasn’t and obvious spammer. Now, my following/followers ratio is way off because of my careless following skills back then….but I don’t really care. It’s all about the ones I do interact with & the real connections I make.

    I couldn’t have said it better! Thanks girl! πŸ™‚

  • 7. Tom O'Keefe  |  February 25, 2010 at 9:05 am

    I actually went through FriendorFollow the other day, Mikinzie, because I felt that my stream was becoming a bit flooded. I decided to unfollow the people that I’ve never interacted with who I also couldn’t remember from my tweet-stream. If I’m following them, but not gaining any value and not interacting with them, why follow? I continued to follow the people that I felt gave me value (a la the Brogans & the Evans) even if they didn’t follow me. I definitely don’t take it personally that people don’t follow me or unfollowed me; that’s their choice, just like it’s my choice to follow, unfollow, or not follow at all!


  • 8. Boris Khodorkovsky a.k.a. netocrat  |  February 25, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I follow so many people and media, that are not interested and shouldn’t be interested (yet) in following me back )

    On the other hand I see so many people following/unfolowing me just with one goal β€” to get a follow-back from me )) I will follow just those that I will be reading!!! and never just to do the β€žyou scratch my back, I scratch your backβ€œ thing.

    Sincerely yours,
    Boris Khodorkovsky

    PS I do not ever check if the person I know and follow is following me back or not πŸ˜‰

  • 9. Britt  |  February 25, 2010 at 9:11 am

    I’m totally in the same boat as you. About 500 people that I follow don’t follow me back. I know that the celebs and companies I follow can’t follow back all of their followers but when I do converse with a few of the people on the list it is a little bit upsetting. Good thing for my TweetDeck though that alerts me when I do have a new follower so I can look into connecting with them. But you’re right. We can’t stay up all night stressing over those that don’t follow us.

  • 10. Steph Majercik  |  February 25, 2010 at 11:53 am

    I checked out Friendorfollow too and while I was shocked to see a few familiar faces of people who I interact with weren’t following me back, I was more surprised to see that I wasn’t following a number of people who follow me and who I converse with!

    I think that with all the different ways we can access Twitter now, its harder to keep track of who we are following. I’m sure thats the case in a lot of instances…they just don’t realize they aren’t following.

    And like you said, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter, as long as you’re interacting and still getting something out of it

  • 11. JillPR  |  February 25, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    I did this the other night, and eliminated 40 people from my ‘following’ list. It used to be if someone followed me I would follow back provided they weren’t totally boring – what an intense tweet history I had doing that. Now I’m down to a comfortable 150 so I can read everything and interact like I want to. Don’t know what I’ll do when I follow 1,000+ people – hire an assistant maybe!

  • 12. Scott Hale  |  February 25, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I’ve used before and I think it’s an interesting tool. I kind of went through the same progression as you – I was a little bit taken aback by some of my non-followers and a little surprised by some people that I hadn’t followed. Then I determined I really didn’t care who followed me because I’m mostly concerned with the content I see…not who sees my content.

    As I thought about it more though, I realized that I could use as a call to action. If I somebody that I respect wasn’t following me back (and I wanted consistent dialogue with them), I would make sure to pay more attention to their tweets (usually do this by adding them to a group on TweetDeck). When I see tweets from them that interest me, I interact…that’s all I can do to open that relationship.

  • 13. Madison  |  February 25, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    There are very few people I care whether or not they follow me. I follow people I find value in, and if that person may not find value from me then so be it. I don’t want to follow someone just because they follow me–my tweet stream would be full of noise!

  • 14. Abhisek  |  February 25, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Definitely the fact that people don’t reciprocate the way you want them to hurts but what i believe is that if u feel like keeping in touch or shud i say follow someone in this context then thr is ur interest in that person or person’s activity.. he doesnt get obliged if u follow.. its completely voluntary.. so what u conclude ‘ this isn’t a popularity contest’ is pefectly right…

    look i follow ur posts out here.. do i ask u why dont u ?? supposedly no πŸ˜›

  • 15. Abhisek  |  February 25, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    further to it.. i rarely get access to post a comment… bt for sure i read all ur blogs regularly πŸ™‚

    u r an amazing writer… loads of things to learn.. been a continuous learner.. thanks πŸ™‚

    • 16. mikinzie  |  February 25, 2010 at 5:11 pm

      What’s your twitter handle? After flattery like that, I have to follow you! But seriously, I love engaging with anyone who finds value in what I have to say. Thanks for the compliments *blushing* πŸ™‚

  • 17. Isao  |  February 25, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    I did the same thing after accessing the service through TechCrunch article. It’s both intriguing and depressing to background-check our friends. Do it once (we can’t resist the temptation), and move on, don’t look back. The only difference is the direct message, but using @averagejoeitsyou does just fine..

  • 18. AndreaVLewis  |  February 25, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    I try to do bi-weekly flushes of my followers. If they aren’t active on Twitter within 24 hrs. then they get the boot. Even if we’re not connecting right now, doesn’t mean we won’t down the line. I try to be really selective in who I choose to follow and I assume my followers do the same, but of course it’s their prerogative.

    I’m definitely going to check out FriendorFollow. Thanks for the recommendation!


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